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Uncorked, Vins de Bourgogne

I love wine.
I love Bourgogne wines.
The sound of the popping cork. When it is poured to the glass and it starts to breathe. The nuance in colors. The tanin tickling your taste buds. Then to that moment when a symphony of aromas start embracing your mouth with fineness.

I am no wine expert, just an expert drinker. As luck would have it, I found myself living in one of the best wine countries. And I am only scratching the surface here. There is so much complexity to wines that I haven't even begun to truly develop my taste buds to the many aromas a bottle can give. I was asked a few times on what French wine to try. I would list Pommard, Vosne Romanée, Aloxe-Corton, or a Mersault, to name just a few, but not the types of wine grapes like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. There is so much more to the variety of grapes, and the many regions such as a Bourgogne, Bordeaux, Provençe, or a Côte-du-Rhône.

Vineyards as far as your eyes can see, Morey-Saint-Denis, Côte de Nuits



Aloxe-Corton, Côte de Beaune
France has about 10 wine regions. Ten regions of different grapes, soil, climate, and orientation. In those regions, they have officially named sub wine regions with different communes and towns.  That's a bouquet of various aromas! In Bourgogne itself, the vineyards are divided into five official wine  communities: Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, te Chalonnaise, and Mâconnais. Then divided into the small towns where the vineyards and domaines are located, also known as the terroirs. This is true for all the wine regions of France. So when asked what French wine one can try, you are likewise travelling France through its wine bottles. This is the same for its cheese! Bourgogne is relatively a small wine growing region with 26,500ha of vineyards making about 200 million bottles per year. That seems a lot but not compared to the other wine regions like Bordeaux which is almost five times bigger.

A wine cave in one of the domaines

Like Disneyland for wine lovers
My very first dégustation in Bourgogne was 9 years ago. Visiting domaines in the Côte de Beaune region, not finding any difference between tasting ten bottles. But I was immediately smitten. There is something about buying your wines straight from the home of the merchant. Learning a deeper story to their wines and witnessing the passion and hard work that comes with every bottle. And so, we have always returned to our preferred wine region to regularly replenish our stock. What better way to explore a region than this?

Bourgogne wine has a 2000 year history dating back to the 1st century with the Romans. A record of the existence of vineyards go back to the 4th century. By the 15th century, Bourgogne wines are making its way in France & Europe. In 1936, the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) was created and today, we are now enjoying about 100 appellations of Bourgogne



The different kinds of soil that produces diverse aromas, Givrey

You know you are drinking a Pinot Noir when you drink a red Bourgogne, or a Chardonnay with white. These are the majority of cépages, or grape variety known to the region. With its single grape variety, there is trust in the land. This is known as the terroir, or "climat", to a Bourguignon It is a combination of nature, geographical and climate, mixed with culture and the skills of the wine producers. Bourgogne is known for its location with rich, assorted soils formed within millions of years, and a distinct climate. This is why one land parcel can taste different from another within a few kilometers. 

Appellations Village, Premier Cru and Grand Cru

There are four appellation levels in Bourgogne : Regional, Villages, Premier Cru and Grand Cru. This hierarchy is attached to a vineyard's location. Regional wines are produced in any wine region of Bourgogne. Unlike for Villages, it is associated to a specific commune where it is grown. These parcels of land can likewise produce Premiers Crus and Grand Crus, which are tied to their respective climats producing prestigious wines of reputation with small quantity of only about 15%. The complexity of wines. So much history and passion to create a mosaic of aromas. From red fruits, spices, to earth, and florals, dried fruits, to honey. This bouquet of magic in your palate is owed to about the 100 climats of the region.

Enlarge to see wine etiquette

The wonderful world of wines is so vast with the many producing countries in the world. But there is still so much more to explore in French wines with their 10 regions, and I am so grateful to be an expert drinker and have journeyed France through it. So, which is the best wine? It is the one you like.

And if you happen to be there for the same reasons of exploring their wines, try their escargots, jambon persillé or oeufs en meurettes. Have a Kir for apéro. Bourgogne has a lot more to offer than their Routes de Vins.

For more, visit Vins de Bourgogne

  
 



      
  

Makis

From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.

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